Indira S. Somani, journalist, PhD

Thank you technology!

How did my parents do this reverse transition in 1961 and 1964 (when they moved to the U.S.), respectively? There was no internet, no TV, no facebook and the phone just wasn’t an option!  Since I’ve arrived in India (which was Monday, Aug. 22) I think I’ve talked to my Mom three times.  I’ve been on facebook everyday, and I’ve definitely been corresponding via email.  The close family friends I’m staying with have been glued to the television watching Anna Hazare try and change India.  As a result, I’ve been witnessing this Mahatma Gandhi-like person maintain a 12-day fast to end all corruption in India.  It’s amazing to witness on television how 1.2 billion people have rallied in support of his cause.  Television has made me feel connected with what is going on in India, and the internet has kept me from feeling disconnected from my friends and family.  So how does one come to a new country and try and adjust without technology?  I’d like to know how my parents did it.  I can’t imagine the amount of strength they must have had 50 years ago to adjust to a new place, without any contact with their immediate family or close friends.  Furthermore, they had never been to the U.S., while I have been to India my whole life.  I have many relatives here through my extended family.  I know what to expect in terms of clothing, food habits, religion and climate.  But I feel lost if I don’t connect to my homeland on a daily basis.